Frontiers of Business Ethics

Laszlo Zsolnai edits a book series "Frontiers of Business Ethics" at Peter Lang Publishers in Oxford. The series is dedicated to alternative approaches that go beyond the literature of conventional business ethics and corporate social responsibility. It aims to promote a new ethical model for transforming business into humanistic, sustainable and peaceful forms. The series publishes monographs and edited volumes with fresh ideas and breakthrough conceptions relevant for scholars and practitioners alike.

Beyond Self: Ethical and Social Dimensions of Economics

Cover image
Laszlo Zsolnai Beyond Self: Ethical and Social Dimensions of Economics. Peter Lang Academic Publishers, Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Brussels, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2014. (This book may be available at: Peter Lang)

This book addresses ethical and spiritual issues in economics. The central idea advanced in the book is that the extreme focus on the self by economic actors leads to the destruction of both material and non-material values. The assumptions of self-interest in behavior represent the core of mainstream economics today. From this perspective, the welfare of economic agents depends on their own consumption; their goal is to maximize their own welfare; and their choice is guided by the pursuit of their own goals.

Responsible Economics: E.F. Schumacher and His Legacy for the 21st Century

Cover image
Hendrik Opdebeeck (ed.) Responsible Economics: E.F. Schumacher and His Legacy for the 21st Century. Peter Lang Academic Publishers, Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2013. (This book may be available at: Peter Lang)

The centenary of E.F. Schumacher’s birth (1911-1977) offered an urgent opportunity to revisit his work and life. Against the background of the crisis at the beginning of this century, reconsidering Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful or frugality paradigm makes clear that advances in responsible economics continue to be a priority. This book contains the proceedings of the 2011 Annual Conference of the European SPES Forum on ‘Responsibility in Economics and Business: The Legacy of E.F. Schumacher’, which was organised in September 2011 by the Centre for Ethics of the University of Antwerp in collaboration with the Business Ethics Center of Budapest. The aims of this conference were to celebrate the 100th anniversary of E.F. Schumacher’s birth and to engage with Schumacher’s vision to help address the present need for responsibility in economics and business.

Co-Charismatic Leadership: Critical Perspectives on Spirituality, Ethics and Leadership

Cover image
Simon Robinson and Jonathan Smith Co-Charismatic Leadership: Critical Perspectives on Spirituality, Ethics and Leadership. Peter Lang Academic Publishers, Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2013. (This book may be available at: Peter Lang)

Current theories of leadership, spirituality and ethics are inadequate for the global, rapidly changing and complex environment in which leaders work today. Emerging from this book’s critical analysis comes a new theory of leadership: co-charismatic leadership. This does not mean leadership focused in ‘charisma’, or the special qualities or charm of an individual. Charisma originates from the Greek word for gift or grace. Rather it emphasises the relational nature of charisma, as both shared throughout the community and dependent upon mutual relationships within the community. The charismata are in effect virtues, to be practised in the community by all members, hence the ‘co’ in the title.

The Collaborative Enterprise: Creating Values for a Sustainable World

Cover image
Antonio Tencati & Laszlo Zsolnai (eds.) The Collaborative Enterprise: Creating Values for a Sustainable World. Peter Lang Academic Publishers, Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2010. (This book may be available at: Peter Lang)

Competitive economics produces an enormous abundance of goods and services but at an intolerable environmental and social cost. Competition has become an end in itself, which leads to detrimental effects on nature, society and future generations. A change of paradigm is needed. Business should respect the ecological and social limits in which it operates and embed its activities in the natural and social systems. This book promotes a collaborative attitude of doing business based on a positive view of the self and others. Theoretical contributions, reflections, cases, examples, and initiatives collected in the book show that a collaborative enterprise is not only possible but also a feasible and desirable alternative to the current, self-defeating, managerial models.

The Relational Company: Responsibility, Sustainability, Citizenship

Cover image
Josep M. Lozano The Relational Company: Responsibility, Sustainability, Citizenship. Peter Lang Academic Publishers, Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2010. (This book may be available at: Amazon)

Recent years have seen a great debate and much progress in corporate social responsibility (CSR). Headway has been made in the development of the CSR agenda and the dissemination of management models. All these advances have been accompanied by an ideological debate that paradoxically always leads to a call for greater clarification of what is meant by CSR. This book stands at this crossroads. It can be seen as a chronicle and at the same time a synthesis of this whole debate. Yet ultimately it proposes a way of understanding CSR and a way of approaching it, and as such also takes sides in the debate.

Rational, Ethical and Spiritual Perspectives on Leadership

Cover image
Peter Pruzan Rational, Ethical and Spiritual Perspectives on Leadership. Peter Lang, Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Brussels, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2009. (This book may be available at: Amazon)

A primary motivation underlying the development of the book is to inspire leaders as well as teachers and students of leadership to integrate their hearts, minds and souls when making decisions, and to develop the awareness and conviction that wise and successful leadership is concerned not only with effectiveness and wealth generation, but also with contributing to the well-being and fulfilment of all those whom one serves as a leader.

Business, Globalization and the Common Good

Cover image
Henri-Claude de Bettignies and François Lépineux (ed.) Business, Globalization and the Common Good. Peter Lang, Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Brussels, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2009. (This book may be available at: Amazon)

Globalization and information technology are driving the world into a new era. Is it the responsibility of business to pursue the common good - and more precisely, to participate in the construction of the global common good? This book brings together contributions from various disciplines, written by scholars who are at the forefront of this debate. It provides multiple insights into a tripartite relationship: business, globalization and the common good. It helps explain why the business sphere will probably not be in a position to ignore the common good much longer, and why this latter concept, widely ignored in today's management realm, is likely to become part of tomorrow's corporate policies and practices in the global context. Finally, this work opens up a plethora of avenues for future research, calling for the development of transdisciplinary approaches and for the elaboration of a research program embracing theoretical, empirical and spiritual perspectives to tackle this complex issue.

Gifts, Corruption, Philanthropy: The Ambiguity of Gift Practices in Business

Cover image
Peter Verhezen Gifts, Corruption, Philanthropy: The Ambiguity of Gift Practices in Business. Peter Lang, Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Brussels, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2009. (This book may be available at: Amazon)

In this socio-philosophical book, the author explains why gifts are not just moral expressions but function as binding social practices. The first part concerns the conceptual analysis of the logic of the gift whereas the second part focuses on practical expressions of gift practices in a business context, more particularly bribery and philanthropy. How can gifts turn into bribes? Why does corporate philanthropy not necessarily imply some form of altruism? Is corruption a mere expression of cultural characteristics such as discretion and loyalty? Clear criteria are provided within the logic of the gift to distinguish gifts from bribes. Another goal is to clarify the myth of corporate donations and how such presumably good corporate behaviour could either damage or enhance the long-term reputation of a firm. Gift practices are sometimes exploited blatantly to cover up less benevolent behaviour. Understanding gift practices within a business context will allow practitioners to pursue an appropriate strategy of corporate social responsibility. Indeed, despite its inherent ambivalence, a gift should be understood as a worthy ethical and social practice within a specific cultural or organizational context.

Frugality: Rebalancing Material and Spiritual Values in Economic Life

Cover image
Bouckaert, L., Opdebeeck, H. & Zsolnai, L. (eds.) Frugality: Rebalancing Material and Spiritual Values in Economic Life . Peter Lang Publishing, Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Brussels, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2008. (This book may be available at: Amazon)

The book examines frugality as an ideal and an ‘art de vivre’ which implies a low level of material consumption and a simple lifestyle, to open the mind for spiritual goods as inner freedom, social peace and justice or the quest for God or ‘ultimate reality’. By rational choice we can develop a more frugal and sufficient way of life, but material temptations can always overwrite our ecological, social and ethical considerations. But the spiritual case for frugality is strong enough.

Circulation Economics: Theory and Practice

Cover image
Stig Ingebrigtsen and Ove Jakobsen Circulation Economics: Theory and Practice. Peter Lang, Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Brussels, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2007. (This book may be available at: Amazon)

Circularity, pluralistic values and communicative co-operation are of special importance to reach the goal of sustainability. In this book the authors argue that a new economics must be based upon an organic world view where economy, nature and culture are interconnected. The economic challenges of tomorrow will only to a limited extent lend themselves to being managed by the neoclassical and mainstream economic paradigm. It is necessary to make changes on both structural and individual levels and to modify individual habits and values concerning consumption and lifestyle. Each chapter in the book is illustrated with practical examples written by practitioners and academics and is built upon a progressive Scandinavian experience.